It is hard to think about spring in the Midwest right now. However, in order to make it through spring allergy season, regardless of where you live, you must prep your body now.
An exhilarating development regarding allergies has come from the unlikeliest of sources, the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, one of the most revered allergy journals in the world. In a stunning acknowledgment, the journal describes the benefits of specific vitamins, minerals, and herbs that help reduce allergy symptoms. This is a gargantuan leap for the ultra-conservative allergy community. One of the main substances highlighted is quercetin, the bioflavanoid we have recommended for over 15 years in two specific products, Allergy Fighters and Quercetin + C. Before we share our Spring Allergy To-Do List, here are the reviews highlights.
Complementary and alternative medicine: herbs, phytochemicals, and vitamins and their immunologic effects. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, February 2009
Reducing Overall Allergic Symptoms
-Vitamin D, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols, not just alpha), and especially the bioflavanoid Quercetin, have shown to be positively associated with overall reduction of allergic symptoms.
-Direct quote from the study: "30% to 50% reduction in childhood asthma just by incorporating fish into a child's diet."
-A study of 4000 children showed subjects with asthma had significantly decreased levels of vitamin C.
-Japanese Knotweed-derived Resveratrol may have a positive effect.
-Direct quote from the study: "one thing is clear: probiotics are vital to the healthy maturation of the immune system after birth, as has been demonstrated in patients with atopic dermatitis."
-Butterbur, Spirulina, Perilla Seed have shown improvement in symptoms.
-"Some Complementary and Alternative Medicine practices can favorably work in a complementary fashion in treating symptoms of allergic and immune disorders."
Bonnie - it is a major step for this incredibly conservative group of allergists to open up to Complementary and Alternative Medicine!
Spring Allergy To-Do List
Understanding That Food Cross-Reactors Play a Major Role
According to an American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology study in November 2008, 64% of the patients hospitalized due to severe atopic dermatitis demonstrate a clinically relevant allergy caused by pollen associated foods (otherwise known as a cross-reaction). The most frequent were to hazelnut, raw apple, almonds, walnuts, and carrots.
For those with pollen, grass, and mold allergies, you must be vigilant in limiting cross-reactors for a period of 4-6 weeks during the height of the season. There is a wonderful Chicago area website that presents the most accurate daily count of pollen, grass, and mold levels (starts tracking mid-March). If you live outside of the Chicagoland area, weather.com usually does a pretty good job of gauging pollen levels.
Foods and topical products to avoid or greatly minimize if tree pollen is an issue:
Almond, Apple, Apricot, Avocado, Carrot, Cherry, Coconut, Fennel, Hazelnut, Kiwi, Peach, Peanut, Pears, Plums, Tomato, Tree nuts, White potato. Completely eliminate Peanut, Tree nuts, and Tomato if symptomatic.
Foods and topical products to avoid or greatly minimize if grass is an issue:
Orange, Peanut, Tomato, and these members of the grass family: Bamboo shoots, Barley, Corn, Hops, Kamut, Lemongrass, Millet, Molasses, Oats, Rye, Sorghum, Spelt, Sugar Cane, Triticale, Wheat, Wild rice, Alcohol (beer, Scotch whiskey, bourbon, rum), Grain vodkas, Barley malt
Foods and topical products to avoid or greatly minimize if mold is an issue:
Mushrooms, Peanut/Peanut Butter, Heavily Fermented or Moldy Foods (such as blue cheese), and Whole Wheat. Eliminate Peanut and Whole Wheat completely if mold is also an issue.
If you have diagnosed food allergies (IgE) and/or food intolerants (IgG) that do not appear above, they should be strictly avoided as well.
Avoiding sugar and excess carbohydrates will keep your immune system strong.
If your symptoms are mainly sinus-related, Nutribiotic (a natural antifungal), Neti-Pots, or thimerosal-free saline spray 1-2x daily have been found to be helpful.
If you suspect food intolerance is an issue, ask us about the Biotrition Cytotoxic Food Test that screens over 200 foods, spices, and food chemicals with one blood draw.
Several weeks before spring allergy season begins, start loading with the ideal allergic-support supplements for you. We can help individualize these supplements to meet your needs.
Does all of this seem like a daunting task? Let us tailor a special spring allergy season menu to help get you through.
Promising therapy for allergy in the future:
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, Immunotherapy (oral or sublingual) has shown to help at least for short term desensitization. Stay tuned.